By Colton Totland, News21
With decades of military experience in areas that ranged from human resources to supply and logistics, Scott Hargrove seemed qualified for the civilian job market.
The former Chief warrant officer four left the Army Reserve in June 2012 when his veterans outreach job was eliminated. The Vietnam era volunteer found himself unemployed after 40 years of military life. His yearlong search for work has been frustrating.
“You’d like to think that wealth of experience is something that employers would jump on,” Hargrove said. “I just don’t like being out of work.”
Hargrove, 60, represents a unique demographic among unemployed post-9/11 veterans, most of whom are younger and much less experienced. The highest unemployment rate among veterans is in the 20-24 age range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For April, it was at 17.7 percent.
Hargrove said employers are discouraged from hiring veterans because of confusion about what military experience actually means.
“We use acronyms in the military all the time. You need to take your military resume and convert it over to English; you have to put it into civilian terms,” he said.
Hargrove in early June visited a National Guard center in Phoenix for advice on his resume. Since 2011, new public and private organizations have offered career services for veterans. Hargrove has attended more than a dozen job fairs, he said. None has yielded desirable job offers.
“There’s a lot of veterans groups trying to help; in many cases, it’s almost overwhelming,” Hargrove said. “It’s just that there are so many initiatives. It would be nice if there were fewer organizations all doing the same thing.”